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Welcome. Traumatic accidents seriously impact one’s life. However, with the proper information and support you—or someone you care about—can recover the life you were meant to have. In this blog, you will find tools, tips and ideas to facilitate the recovery process —tools that help patients cope with physical and psychological injuries and conditions.

A note to insurance companies: you, too, will find valuable information here that will help you better serve your insured customers. In fact, when patients get the proper support and needed care and treatment up front, they need far fewer resources in the long run than they would if support is withheld. That translates into a big win-win for the insurance carrier and a boost to the bottom line.

Here, accident survivors will learn to do more than survive—they will learn to thrive.

Montel Williams, PTSD and TBI From Auto Accidents

September 25, 2017

I just returned from the fall conference of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan which was truly an amazing conference. I made many wonderful connections and learned a lot of new things about brain injuries and our health care delivery system from some of Michigan’s top neurologists, psychologists and case managers, and most of all, from the people who have sustained brain injuries.

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Preserving Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance System – Prevention is Cheaper than the Cure

August 10, 2017

Our Michigan system is currently under attack by some politicians, insurance companies and newspapers.  They say our system is too expensive and needs to be limited.  They want to limit how much and the quality of care you receive, and how much doctors can be paid to provide that care.

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Obstacles to Mental Health Care in Auto Accident Cases

August 4, 2017

Most adults in the United States of America drive vehicles of one kind or another on public roadways and are at risk of being involved in an auto accident which may result in serious injuries or death. According to the National Safety council’s data in 2016, over 40,000 people died from auto accident related injuries and 4.6 million required medical treatment in the USA.

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National PTSD Awareness Month

June 19, 2017

Human history has been written in blood and suffering. It is only by small victories of the heart and spirit that we have endured, and through which we can but hope to prevail. If we as a species are to survive and evolve, it is necessary to find new ink, one composed of love, compassion, and understanding, and held in a crucible of forgiveness.

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Protecting Brain Injured Patients in Legal Proceedings

June 9, 2017

Today I attended a legal conference given by the Brain Injury Association of Michigan and learned some important things about advocacy for patients with brain injuries that I will share with you. Pratheep Sevanthinathan, a Michigan attorney, gave an excellent presentation.

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How Trauma Impacts Us – Hold On to Your Dreams

May 19, 2017

Traumatic life events, such as being injured in accidents, often serve to define who we are as human beings.  The same traumatic event can leave one person’s life decimated while others may be propelled to greater accomplishments and life satisfaction than would have been likely without the traumatic event.  How do we explain such striking contrasts?

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Some Thoughts on Healing – The Importance of Curiousity

May 8, 2017

In graduate school, many years ago, I was taught not to talk about healing. It was viewed as appearing unscientific. Better to stick with measurable treatment goals and objectives. The dean of a prestigious medical school said to the graduating class that at least 85 percent of what the young doctors had learned would in time be proven false. He added that he hoped they would eventually develop the wisdom to know the 15 percent that was true.

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Vehicular Trauma Syndrome

April 14, 2017

I want to introduce a new syndrome which I call Vehicular Trauma Syndrome or VTS. From my clinical practice which specializes in treating people who have survived serious vehicular accidents of one kind or another, I have come to recognize a constellation of psychological and physical symptoms specific to these kinds of accidents. There are also characteristic stages of recovery which I will briefly describe.

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The Horrors of Texting and Driving

April 7, 2017

It was a beautiful spring day in rural Texas last week. By all accounts, a pleasant, fun-loving, 20-year-old man was driving his pickup truck, when distracted by texting, he drove head-on into a mini-bus with 14 occupants returning from a church retreat. Thirteen people on the bus died at the scene. One bus survivor remained in critical condition, as did the young man.

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Car Accidents and Collective Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

March 27, 2017

What do we know about car accidents and modern society?  We know that injury from auto accidents is a major public health concern.  In the United States, there are about six million auto accidents each year resulting in about three million people injured.  We know that many people do not do what they can to keep themselves and others safe while driving.  For example, even though wearing seatbelts reduces the risk of death or serious injury by roughly 50%, 1 in 7 people still do not wear seatbelts when driving.

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Recovering From Trauma and Its Obstacles (Part 2)

March 27, 2017

This week’s blog is a continuation of last week’s post. Please indulge me as I take a brief dive into Greek mythology as its gods help us to understand concepts about the human psyche that are often still used in our psychological terminology today. Wikipedia states that for the ancient Greeks, the god Thanatos was the personification of death. There is an ancient statue which depicts him as a winged youth with a sword swung from his shoulder. Homer wrote about him in the Iliad, along with his twin brother Hypnos, god of sleep.

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Recovering From Trauma and Its Obstacles (Part 1)

March 27, 2017

In many years of working psychotherapeutically with trauma survivors, I have learned that self-care is at the heart of trauma recovery. I have also frequently observed that highly intelligent people who are struggling with life circumstances repeatedly make bad choices for themselves that lead them into greater difficulties. This paradox often strikes me as perplexing. Why do some smart people when dealing with traumatic life events make bad choices that are counter to self-care?

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What Do Auto Accidents, PTSD, and TBI Have in Common?

March 6, 2017

Contrary to popular belief, the hippocampus is not a place where hippopotami go for higher learning. It is actually a seahorse-shaped structure deep within our brains that has to do with memory and emotions and is implicated in PTSD, TBI, fibromyalgia, depressionand many other psychological conditions.

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Free Hands Do Not Mean Free Minds

February 28, 2017

As a psychologist specializing in treating victims of auto crashes, many of my patients face life long disabilities and pain due to injuries resulting from crashes that resulted from the actions of distracted drivers.  It is likely no surprise that the cell phone is the number one problem when it comes to motor vehicle trauma caused by distracted drivers.

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Self-Driving Cars and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

February 20, 2017

We are at a major juncture in technological developments with respect to how we travel in cars. In a February 13, 2017, article Janet Burns reported that Ford Motor Company announced plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years in self-driving artificial intelligence in a virtual driver system to be created by Argo AI.

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Who Is Responsible For the Crash?

February 10, 2017

Is Apple guilty? Arden Dier posted an article in the NEWSER on December 29, 2016, entitled “Parents Sue, Blame FaceTime for Death of Daughter.” The article describes the tragic death of a 5-year-old girl who died as a result of a car slamming into the back of the vehicle the girl was riding in.

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Accident vs. Crash

February 3, 2017

When should the word “accident” be replaced with “crash”? In my practice as a clinical and forensic psychologist specializing in trauma resulting from vehicular crashes we often use the word accident to describe the event. However, often the traumatic event was not the result of behaviors that are unintentional in the sense of some level of personal negligence can be attributed.

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Lady Gaga’s PTSD and the Mind Body Connection

December 9, 2016

Lady Gaga recently announced that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain from being sexually assaulted when she was 19. She performed a song “Til It Happens to You” at the Oscars this year.  The song was written for a documentary about sexual assault entitled The Hunting Ground.

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Lord Nelson’s Traumatic Brain Injury

December 9, 2016

Lord Horatio Nelson was England’s most celebrated soldier, the Admiral who defeated Napoleon’s navy at the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805.

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What Medical Students Need To Know About Auto Accidents

November 21, 2016

On July 15, 2016, I was interviewed by Anthony Sarchiapone from McGraw Hill’s medical education podcast series. The focus of the interview was on what new medical students need to know about auto accident survivors when assisting them in the emergency room. A recording of the entire interview can be found on my website DrJamesZender.com.

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